Author Archive

Whodunnit? Using names in business storytelling

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 22, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Stories have incredible natural power and they help us to have impact and be heard over the bombardment of information people receive every day. So, what is it that holds people back from using more examples in business? One of the reasons is our reluctance to name individuals. Instead of talking about Mary, an accounts […]

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Whoever tells the best story wins

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 16, 2014
Filed in Fun, News

In 2001, Annette Simmons published her book The Story Factor. I read it cover to cover and as I write this my dog-eared, tagged and heavily annotated copy sits in front of me. The book has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential business storytelling books written. Her other titles include Whoever Tells […]

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How to deliver an effective business story

Posted by  Mark Schenk —March 11, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Twice in the past week I have been asked about our thoughts on presentation skills training as part of learning to be an effective storyteller… So, remembering that we are talking about business storytelling here, my advice is that you spend 98% of your effort thinking about the story: its point, the details necessary to […]

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Overcoming entrenched views using stories

Posted by  Mark Schenk —January 10, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

We’re all rational beings, aren’t we? If I want to convince you of something, surely I just need the necessary facts or a convincing argument? Well, behavioural science research tells us that this approach simply doesn’t work. This post describes something that scientists have known for nearly 40 years and which organisations stubbornly refuse to […]

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Leaders can trigger new stories

Posted by  Mark Schenk —November 13, 2013
Filed in Leadership

People watch the behaviour of leaders intensely, like they are on stage with a spotlight on them. This concentrated attention on leader behaviour can be used to trigger new stories and to communicate meaning. Often simple actions can be much more powerful than the words leaders use, as illustrated on the example below: In 2007 […]

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The questions leaders need to ask

Posted by  Mark Schenk —November 6, 2013
Filed in Leadership

From many perspectives, the video below is a clear message to an unappreciative boss. “You don’t value me, I have no life balance…you are a bad boss.” But if your objective was to either retain this employee or to avoid others leaving, this information would fall into the category of ‘interesting but useless’. When people […]

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Business Storytelling tips: Be specific

Posted by  Mark Schenk —October 16, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

One of the most valuable tips to improve your business storytelling skills is: Be Specific Last week I was working with a group of bank managers in one of our Storytelling for Leaders programs. We were showing them how the Influence Story pattern can be used to help overcome entrenched positions and tackle anti-stories. One […]

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Storytelling for Leaders – Sydney 28 November 2013

Posted by  Mark Schenk —October 10, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be running our popular Storytelling for Leaders program in Sydney on Thursday 28th November 2013. The workshop gets rave reviews from participants and our Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the past 12 months is +79 (if you are not familiar with NPS, +100 is the maximum possible score and […]

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Are your leaders foxes or hedgehogs?

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 17, 2013
Filed in Collaboration, Leadership

The media and business worlds love experts with strong opinions and the ability to explain them confidently and authoritatively. We hear them on TV and read them in newspapers and online every day. Yet a 20-year study shows that these are the very people who are least likely to be accurate in predicting what will […]

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Dynamic tension and team success

Posted by  Mark Schenk —May 22, 2013
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling, Leadership

Earlier this week Shawn sent me an email. “You must see Steve Jobs: The Lost interview. It’s available on iTunes” (its the movie, not the radio show). So, naturally I downloaded it and am halfway through it. It’s riveting. Jobs answers nearly every question with a story. When the interviewer talks about developing the first […]

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